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US-China Relations

Huanqiu Commentary: China Will Never Play a Role as One of “the U.S. Allies”

On June 21, 2017, Global Times, also known as Huanqiu, China’s official newspaper, published a commentary on the United States’ policy changes toward North Korea after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college graduate, recently released from a North Korean prison.

Below are some of the key points made in the commentary:

  • The fall of a young life is sad, but making important policies emotionally will result in immediate or potential costs.
  • Currently, the overall mood of the United States is a little bit over agitated, though the United States has not yet issued any medical explanation of Otto Warmbier’s death.
  • Beijing must be wary of the fact that Washington DC may exert greater pressure on Beijing to “work effectively” on the North Korean nuclear issues due to the death of Warmbier, “forcing China to make more commitments.”
  • China has done what needed to be done in terms of trying to break through the deadlock on the North Korean nuclear issues. However, China will never play a role as one of “the U.S. allies.” If Washington DC enacts sanctions against some of China’s enterprises as a third party, China and the United States will be in disagreement.
  • The North Korean nuclear issues are widely affected and very complicated. It is unrealistic for the United States to solve the problem quickly or even rely on China to solve the problem for the United States. If the American system is only capable of doing simple things, unable to handle complicated situations, then it is very likely that the Korean Peninsula will eventually explode, which will be sad.
  • The Asia-Pacific region simply cannot now afford to face any major conflicts between the United States and China. The United States looks cool and confident on the surface; it is also very difficult for the US to handle disagreements between China and the U.S.

Source: Huanqiu, June 21, 2017
http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2017-06/10875389.html

Chinese Students in the U.S. Have the Highest Overstay Rate

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, based on a recent study, in 2016 there were 25,486 Chinese visitors in the United States who overstayed without proper permission. Among these people, 7,545 were Chinese students on expired visas. Among students from all foreign countries, this number is the highest. The country that ranked number two is India (3,014); South Korea is number three (2,068). The statistics were based on an analysis of overstay visa data that the Department of Homeland Security released. The same study also showed that the type of visa that suffered the largest share of the overstaying population was the student visa, reaching 42,493 in 2016. That’s 2.74 percent of all student visa holders. The consequences of overstaying without proper permission can be quite severe. It may lead to a minimum three-year ban (typically it is a 10-year ban) from entering the U.S. One could also be banned from the right to status adjustments or to obtaining a different type of U.S. visa anywhere else except in the country of origin.

Source: Sina, Jun 17, 2017
http://dailynews.sina.com/bg/news/usa/usnews/chinesedaily/20170617/07277913562.html

China’s Foreign Ministry on Chinese and Russian Opposition to US Deployment of “THAAD” in South Korea

On June 8, 2017, at a regular press conference, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry asserted China’s firm stand opposing the U.S. deployment of “THAAD” in South Korea. The spokesperson, Hua Chunying, told reporters that China and Russia “share a high degree of consensus and common interests” in their opposition to the U.S. deployment of  “THAAD” in South Korea and “will continue to have close communication and coordination” on the matter.

When answering a question on North Korea’s recent firing of surface-to-ship missiles off its east coast, Hua Chunying said, “Under the current circumstances, the relevant parties should exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions that may escalate regional tensions, and play a positive role in de-escalating and stabilizing the situation.”

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Website http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/web/fyrbt_673021/t1468779.shtml

The United States That Has Been Demonized Versus Its Real Relationship with China

{Editor’s Note: A Chinese blogger realized that the general public in China has probably been misled about the U.S., as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been demonizing it for many years. Therefore, she published an article to explain to the Chinese people what the true America is like and how the U.S. has long been helping China. Continue reading

U.S. Government Helped a Chinese Dissident’s Family Escape Communist Control

China human rights attorney Xie Yang (谢阳) was taken into custody during the infamous arrest of human rights lawyers on July 9, 2015. At that time, the Communist regime in China detained hundreds of attorneys who defended people’s human rights. In March of 2017, his wife and daughter were able to escape China to come to the U.S. .

Xie’s wife Chen Guiqiu (陈桂秋) revealed to the public in January 2017, that Xie Yang was brutally tortured during interrogation while he was in detention. From that time on, the police retaliated against her and repeatedly harassed her.

On February 19, Chen Guiqiu and her daughter started their journey to escape from China. With the help of many people, they managed to come to Thailand. Thai officials arrested them in Bangkok on March 2. The next day the Thai judge decided to deport them. Thai officials showed them a video that over 10 Chinese officials were waiting outside of the prison to take them back to China.

At that critical moment, U.S. officials came to the prison. After discussing the situation with the Thai officials, they took Chen and her daughter to the international airport. The Chinese officials followed them to the airport. The U.S. officials, Chinese officials, and Thai officials had a stand-off at the airport for several hours. Eventually the U.S. Officials were able to take the mother and daughter to the U.S.

Bob Fu, a Chinese American pastor who founded “China Aid” to help Christians and other dissidents in China, was a coordinator who helped Chen Guiqui and her daughter to escape. Fu praised the Trump Administration for being very responsive and effective in helping them out.

Source: Voice of America, May 10, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/media-watch-xieyang-20170510/3846618.html

The Chinese Government’s Influence on the U.S. Media Landscape

On May 4, 2017, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) held a hearing, “China’s Information Controls, Global Media Influence, and Cyber Warfare Stategy.” Sarah Cook from Freedom House provided testimony outlining the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) strategies in spreading its propaganda overseas. Although her report was in English and not Chinese, her findings are important, so Chinascope has included them in a briefing.

The CCP’s Propaganda efforts have taken three primary forms:

1) Aggressive attempts to expand state-run media outlets’ reach and influence inside the United States. These efforts have included high-profile initiatives like Xinhua news agency’s advertisements in Time Square, the appearance of China Daily newspaper boxes on streets in major U.S. cities, and the launch of China Central Television (CCTV) America—recently rebranded as China Global Television Network (CGTN) America. In the Chinese-language media sphere, this effort has been going on for over 20 years, resulting in CCTV being accessible to over 90 million households in the United States and a series of free pro-Beijing newspapers displacing the earlier dominance of Taiwan and Hong Kong-affiliated papers.

2) Insinuating state-media content into mainstream media or other existing dissemination channels. Chinese officials and state-media reports have referred to this strategy as “borrowing the boat to reach the sea” (借船出海). This phrase refers to disseminating Chinese state-media content via the pages, frequencies, or screen-time of privately owned media outlets that have developed their own local audiences. This strategy has a long history of use in the Chinese-language environment, such as via the provision of Xinhua newswire content for free. In recent years, its robust expansion to English-language media has garnered much attention and public debate. One of the most prominent examples has been the emergence of China Watch—a paid insert sponsored by the state-run China Daily—that has appeared both in print and online in prominent U.S. papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. In November 2015, a Reuters investigation revealed that programming from the state funded China Radio International (CRI) was appearing on stations in 15 U.S. cities, including Washington DC, via intermediaries of a privately owned media group.

3) Co-opting or partnering with privately owned media to produce and publish content that serves Beijing’s aims: Not all pro-CCP propaganda appearing in U.S. media necessarily originates from writers and editors at Chinese-state run media outlets. Rather, Chinese diplomats and other officials have gone to great lengths to develop “friendly” relations with private media owners and reporters, encouraging them to produce their own content that promotes key narratives favored by Beijing. Outlets and diaspora media owners whose reporting portrays Beijing positively are frequently rewarded with advertising, lucrative contracts for non-media enterprises, joint ventures, and even political appointments. In several instances, Chinese state-media have also purchased small financial stakes in overseas media to solidify such a relationship. Examples of these dynamics are evident in two media entities whose content is disseminated in many parts of the United States. First, the above-mentioned Reuters investigation revealed that only part of the content aired on radio stations owned or leased by CRI’s U.S.-based partner G&E Studio originates from CRI. Other segments are produced by G&E Studio itself in California. Nevertheless, their messaging matches that of Chinese state propaganda. A second example is that of Phoenix TV, the second most widely available Chinese-language television station on cable in the United States. Owned by a former military officer with close ties to Beijing officials, Phoenix TV’s coverage is typically favorable to the CCP.

Censorship and other attempts to suppress the spread of information deemed undesirable by the regime have taken a variety of other, often more subtle forms.

– Direct action by Chinese diplomats, local officials, security forces, and regulators both inside and outside China. These measures obstruct news gathering, prevent the publication of undesirable content, and punish overseas media outlets that fail to heed restrictions.

– Economic “carrots” and “sticks” to induce self-censorship among media owners and their outlets headquartered outside mainland China.

– Indirect pressure applied via proxies—including advertisers, satellite firms, and foreign governments—who take action to prevent or punish the publication of content critical of Beijing.

Source: USCC, May 4, 2017
https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Sarah%20Cook%20May%204th%202017%20USCC%20testimony.pdf

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